If you talk to people within the Ravens organization about Jameel McClain you will hear glowing terms used to describe the undrafted linebacker from Syracuse University.

“A Leader”

“Intelligent Player”

“Team First Guy”

Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees would say “starting linebacker” since he’s on record saying that the job is McClain’s to lose.

Unfortunately for McClain and the Ravens one description you won’t hear used to describe the 6-year veteran is “healthy.”

The doctors have completed their work on McClain’s back. He suffered a spinal concussion and while he feels better and is in shape vis-à-vis weight and cardiovascular training MRI’s continue to suggest that McClain has not fully healed – not ready for contact.

“It just has to heal” said a disheartened John Harbaugh. “Until [the spine] heals and we have proof that it’s healed he’s not going to be out there.”

Meanwhile Josh Bynes Daryl Smith and Arthur Brown are getting plenty of reps with the first team and with each day of practice that goes by it seems less and less likely that McClain will return in time to start the season if at all. And if McClain can’t return in time it will be interesting to see what the Ravens do.

They could keep McClain on PUP and hope that the injury properly heals during the 6-week PUP sabbatical. They could place him on injured reserve with a “designated for return” label that would allow the Ravens to activate him during the season after he sits out a total of 8 weeks.